Prophecies and signs
The prophetic signs that we are living in what has been termed the “latter days” or “end times” seem to be erupting all around us. Pulpits are alive with predictions about what will come next or that all the conditions for the return of Christ have already been fulfilled. While I wholeheartedly admit that “most” of the conditions prophesied do exist, there are several significant ones that still remain unfulfilled.
Prophecies already fulfilled
First, the ones that I believe have been fulfilled are as follows; however, they are not in order of importance and are not meant to be a comprehensive list:
- Israel is once again a nation (Ezekiel 37:11-12).
- There has been an exponential increase in knowledge (Daniel 9:27).
- People are running to and fro (Daniel 12:4).
- On the wing of the abomination that makes desolate (The Dome of the Rock; Matthew 24:15-16 and Daniel 9:27. Also see Ezekiel 8:6-16 for clarification.).
- Nation rising against nation (Matthew 24:7).
- Famines, pestilences, and an increase in earthquakes (Matthew 24:7).
- People being hedonistic and narcissistic (2 Timothy 3:1-7).
- A falling away from the faith (2 Thess. 2:2).
- Doctrines of demons and strange religions (1 Timothy 4:1).
- Increase of liars (1 Timothy 4:1).
- People are lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, children disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal and despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, lovers of pleasure, and having the form of godliness but denying its power (2 Timothy 3:2).
- Evil imposters will be unchecked (2 Timothy 3:13).
- Apathy and anarchy will coexist (Matthew 24:12).
Prophecy in fulfillment
- All the nations are gathering together to battle against Jerusalem – with the exception of Judah who will fight with Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2, 14).
Prophecies yet to fulfill
- The mark of the beast (Revelation 13:16-18).
- The anti-Christ is to be revealed (2 Thessalonians 2:3).
Given that there are so many prophetic indicators that have already been fulfilled, we would be prudent to heed the words in 1 Thessalonians 5:4 that tell us that we should remain alert and not be caught off guard, as if caught by a thief in the night. Simply put, we are to keep our eyes and ears open to what is happening around us and how it fulfills prophecies – especially now that so many prophecies have already been fulfilled.
But what can we expect to see happen if we are the last generation to walk the earth before Christ returns?
Among prophecies in the Book of Revelation that deal with climatic changes, the two unfulfilled prophecies listed above tell us what we can expect that will be easily definable. However, there is much that must happen before these two particular prophecies come to fruition – and most of them center on identifying the two beasts in Revelation, Chapter 13; the woman sitting on the beast in Chapter 17; and Chapter 18:3, 21. Without applying the information in these chapters in concert and connecting the spiritual and political realms, it would be hard to develop a full picture of what the circumstances are that empower the anti-Christ.
In Chapters 13 we learn that the anti-Christ is preceded by a world leader who receives a mortal wound that is healed. He then empowers the “image” of the beast, whom we know as the anti-Christ to the point where the world worships him. It is interesting that from this point forward, the term “image” of the beast is only used. To be sure, there are many possibilities that will fulfill this criteria – including those we cannot begin to imagine. I explore one of them in my book “Witness: Part One” where these prophecies are fulfilled using clones, which are dispensable and can further the illusion that someone has been killed and resurrected. Regardless of the details, the circumstances that pave the way for the anti-Christ call for a collapse of the world monetary standard (presently the US dollar), which he brilliantly transforms into a worldwide credit/debit system that most likely is heavily reliant on technology and a worldwide identification system similar to our national social security number. It should be noted that the man who designs and is able to implement this new system will be financially gifted.
But there is more to be considered that is contained in Chapter 17. It describes a woman sitting on a beast with seven heads and ten horns that comes out of the sea. My interpretation differs from most you have heard – and it necessary to say that these are my opinions only and may not be the opinion of the entity publishing this work. I believe that the seven heads are seven geographical locations – or the seven continents, representing the entire planet. They work in harmony with the beast and thereby give the beast his power (Rev. 17:13). To further support this, I believe that “Mystery Babylon” (Rev. 17:5) is the first one world government that built the Tower of Babel. I can additionally support this with Rev. 17:13 that says they are of one mind – in other words, they are working together. Verse 15 supports that interpretation by defining the “waters” that the woman emerges from as being the nations of the world. Rev. 18:3 also supports this interpretation as well as telling us that there is a time of great prosperity that results from this new worldwide system – at least for some.
To recap: one powerful world leader receives a mortal wound and is healed. He gives power to another world leader that is referred to as being his image. There is a worldwide economic collapse that paves the way for the anti-Christ to institute a new world wide monetary system. At the time this new system is implemented, a short time of world peace comes into existence and creates a new world order that is run by 10 men, who give power to the beast.
For those left behind/still standing
How does this affect Christians if they are not raptured or if they become Christians after the rapture (a point that will not be covered here)? Since Christians know that they are not to participate in a world monetary system that requires receiving a mark of some kind, they will become the enemies of the state and consequently outlaws. The argument will be that the “mark” will eliminate money laundering from drugs and other nefarious means, including economic fraud of every kind. Hence, persecution of Christians will seem well intentioned for the greater good, since they are the identifiable stumbling blocks for world harmony.
In conclusion, although the anti-Christ can also be identified by the seven-year peace treaty he brokers between Israel and its enemies (which is also easy to imagine in our present day), he will also be a man with great financial gifts.
Obama, you’re not it
So, what do we look for in the anti-Christ? Certainly not the bumbling miscreant occupying the White House today – although at times his reprehensible behavior seemed to indicate he was applying for the part. Conversely, the anti-Christ will be very charismatic – to the point where even some Christians may be fooled. He will also be a good negotiator – good enough to negotiate a treaty between Israel and its enemies. And he will be financially gifted with the ability to design and implement a successful world monetary system. In other verses we learn that at first he lives up to all his expectations and is a friend to Israel but turns around after 3 1/2 years (Dan. 11:28). Dan. 11: 37ff also tells us that he is a narcissist and does not regard any known god or any woman. The fact that he “turns” will make it very difficult to identify him when he first comes into power if you don’t understand the circumstances that launch him into power.
In conclusion, what are we to do? Again, the Bible tells us what we are to do. 1 Thessalonians 5:4-6 says we are to watch that the time spoken of should not overtake us like a thief in the night. And the angel speaking to John in Revelation 19:10 tells us something important. He tells us: “Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” I will end with that by encouraging you not to be intimidated by studying prophecy and the Book of Revelation. Rev. 1:3 tells you: “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it.” Be blessed, don’t be caught off guard, and do that by studying prophecy and relating it to the circumstances in the world today and the political realm. If you do, chances are you will not be deceived by the anti-Christ.
Reprinted from The Daily Rant, copyright 2015 Mychal Massie. Used by permission.